The crowd was brimming with excitement and anticipation. The leader who they still hope will rescue them from the clutches of the despicable left was back – and about to talk to his friends. The question hanging in the air was: will Donald Trump be the “more potent and powerful” past president that Sarah Cowgill, writing for Liberty Nation, suggested that he just might be.
This rally – his first since leaving the White House – was vintage Trump, bookended by Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the U.S.A. and the Village People’s YMCA, held at the Ohio Lorain County Fairground just outside Cleveland, where thousands of supporters had gathered. When the television long-shot lens panned the audience, the throng stretched for as far as the lens’s view. The acolytes came walking, arriving in cars, vans, pickup trucks and pushed in American flag-adorned wheelchairs; a small microcosm of the 74 million voters who had wanted – and still want – four more years of Trump. Lorain County is symbolic and an appropriate venue for the first rally since in 2020; the former president was the first Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984 to win the county.
Trump had help from Max Miller in warming up the crowd. Miller is running to unseat Anthony Gonzales (R-OH), who voted with Dems to impeach the 45th president. The partisan crowd definitely was with Miller. He used the phrase “Turncoat Tony,” which prompted a roar of approval. There was little doubt that Gonzales was not popular among those in attendance.
The Donald did not dwell on Gonzales but took just enough time to skewer the politician. He characterized Gonzales as a “sell-out,” a “fake Republican,” and a “disgrace to your state.” Trump explained that the first time he heard of Gonzales was when the congressman asked for a ride to Ohio on Air Force One. The next time he heard the man’s name “he’s impeaching me,” Trump said. Not a good move for a lasting political friendship.
Back to His Old Form
Trump’s delivery was as enthusiastic, strong, and compelling as any stump speech he has given during any past campaign. There was no hint of waning energy. On the contrary, when taking on the current administration and its failings, he became as animated as he has ever been – and the crowd loved every minute of his speech, which ran slightly more than an hour and thirty-five minutes. He set the tone immediately early: “We’re going to take back the House. We’re going to take back the Senate.” He was quick to use the “America First” slogan as he went on.
The former president then went through all the successes that his administration had accomplished, clearly contrasting his time in office with what he sees as a Biden administration disaster. Continuing to set the scene, he said: “after just five months, the Biden administration is already a complete and total catastrophe.” He then went on to discuss the border with Mexico. He was graphic in describing his successor’s inability to control the crisis: “Nobody’s seen anything like it. Drug cartels and human traffickers are back in business like they’ve never been before and doing numbers that they never even thought possible.”
The people reacted with approval at nearly every word. They were hearing former President Trump lay out the issues on which he clearly plans to support Republican candidates in the 2022 mid-term election – particularly in districts where Democrats are weak. He talked of the need for a Congress that will deal effectively with stemming the tide of illegal aliens, reducing the power of big-tech, and stopping the “left-wing indoctrination camps” that are America’s schools under progressive influence. On the subject of law and order, Trump accused “Radical left Democrats” of “doing everything to put your families in grave danger.”
He did not fail to suggest that Kamala Harris only went to the U.S.-Mexico border – visiting the relatively calm border crossing at El Paso, Texas – after he, Trump, said that he was going to do a border tour on June 30.
The former president was particularly critical of “woke” generals and the pushing of critical race theory on the troops. But what got the crowd truly excited, of course, was Trump’s assertion that the 2020 election had been “the scam of the century.”
Wrapping up the rally with his classic motivational ending designed to encourage his base, Trump said:
“We will not bend. We will not break. We will not yield. We will never give in. We will never give up. We will never back down. We will never, ever surrender… We will make America powerful again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. We will make America great again.”
For a first rally to energize the base and motivate Republicans to recapture the House and the Senate, Trump did not disappoint. The question is, will a Trump endorsement be what puts Republican candidates over the top in 2022?
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
Read more from Dave Patterson.
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